The weather in the Mildura region has been described as “Mediterranean”, “steppe” and “semi-arid”. What that means in plain language is long hot dry summers with cool but mild winters. Very little rain, with the majority of that occurring over winter and spring.
Daytime temperatures during the summer months are often in the mid to high 30s (Celsius), with a number of days exceeding 40° and low humidity.Winter days tend to be cool but clear, with overnight lows getting down towards frost level in the coldest months.
Australia in general is a sunny country, compared to the northern hemisphere. Mildura is right up with the top spots of Perth and Brisbane, getting almost 3000 hrs annually. Compare that to New Zealand’s sunniest city (usually either Nelson or Napier) which gets an average of 2700.
If you ever see a dust-storm approaching like the one pictured, then stop what you’re doing and go indoors! I suggest doing it quickly, and shut all doors and windows. I learned that the hard way. Luckily, they are not a common occurrence and don’t last more than an hour or so.
A dry spring will mean maybe a couple over the summer, and they are not pleasant to be out in. These dust storms can roll in from the desert during the hottest part of the year and seemingly pop up out of nowhere. They are usually accompanied with a blast of cold air and very strong winds… no fun at all.
I have only experienced a few of them (including the one in the picture) and have noticed that they are always preceded by a strange very distinctive smell in the air. What that smell is I don’t know. Some say it’s dust, some say it’s ozone. I’ve even been told it’s the smell of “farting ants”. But whatever it is, it can give you a few minutes warning before you actually see the storm.
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